Soon after Arris and CommScope merge, we're starting to see executive changes. We also appear to be on the verge of trade-war repercussions, something smaller providers will feel first, but they won't be alone. UK operators are feeling a different kind of pain from their government, but others including Viavi, ETSI and COAI, TM Forum, Norway and even antenna users are feeling pretty good today.
Dan Whalen has left the Arris Network & Cloud and Global Services unit, post-merger with CommScope, and is succeeded by Kevin Keefe, who takes over as head of that division. Bruce McClelland, former CEO of Arris and current COO of CommScope, made the announcement this week, according to today's Light Reading article. Whalen is taking a break to fulfill some personal goals which, one expects, do not include the E600 Converged Cable Access Platform included in his prior Arris responsibilities. Keefe, who's been with Arris for six years, has held several general manager roles at the company since he joined after its acquisition of Motorola Home. (Read more in Leadership Change Afoot at Arris's Network & Cloud Unit .)
President Trump could this week sign an executive order banning sales of all Huawei telecommunications products in the United States, according to Reuters. The order would cite the International Emergency Economic Powers Act; this gives the president authority to regulate commerce in response to a national emergency threatening the US, and orders the Commerce Department (in conjunction with other agencies) to plan enforcement, sources told Reuters. Many Tier 1 and Tier 2 providers use competitors' products, but members of the Rural Wireless Association -- consisting of Tier 3 and regional operators with fewer than 100,000 subs -- believe one-fourth of members' networks include Huawei or ZTE equipment, according to a December 2018 FCC filing. If replacement is mandated, then the FCC must prioritize and provide financial and technical assistance to these providers, RWA requested.
Ofcom announced today that as of Feb. 15, 2020, British broadband, phone and TV providers must send residential and business subscribers end-of-contract notifications and tariff information each year. Details must include the contract end date; price paid before that date; any changes to the service and price after the contract ends; the notice-period needed to end the contract, and "about their best available deal, both when their deals are coming to an end, and every year after that if they don't change their deal," according to regulatory agency Ofcom.
Not Much to Puzzle Over
There is little argument that smaller operators, the biggest users of Huawei and ZTE products because of their lower price points, will be hit soonest and hardest by a ban on their products, say groups like the Rural Wireless Association.
More than 720,000 Norwegian premises had access to a broadband service with download speeds of 100 Mbps or more by the end of 2018, according to a recent report by the country's National Communications Authority (Nkom). That's almost triple the 224,000 with similar access a year earlier. The number of households limited to broadband of 10 Mbps or less dropped to 135,000 at year-end 2018 versus 203,000 at the end of 2017, said Nkom. Gigabit usage did not increase much: By Dec. 31, 2018, 16,000 residences could access high-speed broadband, compared with 10,000 a year earlier. The agency reported of the 2.04 million residential fixed broadband customers in the country, 1.01 connected via fiber. Cable broadband connections fell to 601,000 from 632,000 and xDSL dropped to 427,000 from 560,000. Most of the 127,000 fixed-broadband business customers remained on xDSL (62,400), while 55,700 used fiber and 8,700 connected via "other" means, Nkom said.
AT&T, China Telecom, Deutsche Telekom and Salesforce all signed on to support TM Forum's Open APIs, the industry association announced on Tuesday. Now, seven out of ten of the top telcos and 50% of the top 20 providers are using these Open APIs, TM Forum said. The suite of 50-plus REST-based APIs also are in use by more than 7,000 developers in over 1,200 companies globally, the organization said. (See AT&T's Rice: Open Source Paves Way to Automation.)
Chris Rice, senior vice president of Network Cloud & Infrastructure at AT&T, which is a long-time advocate and adopter
of open source and APIs, said:
Interlink Telecom Public Co. of Thailand selected the VIAVI T-BERD/MTS-4000 V2 Optical Test Platform to support building, certifying, maintaining and troubleshooting its fiber optic network, the vendor announced today. Interlink wants to increase its current 30% market share by growing its data center and bandwidth capabilities. To ensure existing and new services delivered stable, secure and uninterrupted service, coupled with data security, it sought Optical Time Domain Reflectometer (OTDR) testing. Ultimately, Interlink selected Viavi Solutions' offering, including training, a five-year warranty, plus service and support, through local channel partner SCP Systems Co.
About 22% of US broadband households use an antenna to watch over-the-air broadcasts, but homes with both pay-TV and antennas subscribe to several OTT video services and more likely to have connected entertainment devices than average broadband households or pay-TV-only residences, according to Parks Associates. This latter group wants universal discovery of content simplified, regardless of device or source, said Brett Sappington, senior director of Research at Parks Associates, in a statement.
"APIs and open source software are at the heart of our network transformation, and we’re thrilled at the broader ecosystem that’s adopting the same approach."
ETSI and COAI inked a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to partner on standards. ETSI, a standardization organization for Information Communication Technology fulfilling European and global needs, along with COAI -- an industry association based in India, which represents telecom, Internet, technology and digital services businesses teamed up to -- "perform and promote, directly or indirectly regional and international standardization with the aim of contributing to the establishment of global information infrastructure. The goal also is to promote "regular and continuous dialogue between EU and India to strengthen ICT standardization efforts, said Rajan Mathews, director general at COAI.
— Alison Diana, Editor, Broadband World News. Follow us on Twitter or @alisoncdiana.